November is National Adoption Month, which celebrates parents who choose to bring a child into their home and all the kids who find new families.
Adopted children usually have questions about being adopted rather than being born into a family. A great asset for blended families is the list of books about adoption gathered by the Children’s Services Department of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Sharing these stories is a good way to begin conversations about a child’s identity. The books work toward helping kids – adopted or not – develop empathy and understanding for families who do not fit into the cookie-cutter mold.
If you don’t see all the titles on the shelves at your neighborhood library, they can be easily requested.
National Adoption Day, by the way, is honored every year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. This year, that’s Nov. 17. Make a cake, hug a kid and check out a few of these children’s books:
“We belong together: A Book About Adoption and Families,” by Todd Parr. In a kid-friendly, accessible way, this book explores the ways that people can choose to come together to make a family by showing one perspective on the adoption experience. With an understanding of how personal and special each adoption is, the book shows that not everyone comes to it in the same way.
“I’m Adopted!” by Shelley Rotner. Children have many questions about adoption. With a perceptive text and dynamic photographs, the creators of this book demystify adoption for young children and celebrate the joy that comes with adding to a family.
“Little Chick and Mommy Cat,” by Marta Zafrilla. This tale explores themes of diversity, adoption and alternative family life by following a little chick who shares a happy relationship with his loving mother, a cat with soft fur, tickling whiskers and a long beautiful tail.
“Guji Guji” by Zhiyuan Chen. Crocodile Guji Guji was raised by a family of ducks. One day he meets three crocodiles who tell him that he is not a duck. They ask Guji Guji to help them trap the ducks, but Guji Guji tricks the crocodiles and saves duck family.
“Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born,” by Jamie Lee Curtis. A young girl asks her parents to tell her again the cherished family story of her birth and adoption. In asking her parents to repeat the story of the night she was born, the girl relives a cherished tale she knows by heart. Focusing on the significance of family and love, this a unique and beautiful story about adoption and the importance of a loving family.
“Dragon’s Extraordinary Egg,” by Debi Gliori. A dragon finds an abandoned egg and lovingly raises the hatchling as her own, although Little One is very different from the baby dragons. When disaster strikes, it is the small, feathered hatchling that saves the day.
“Home at Last,” by Vera B. Williams. After Lester is adopted from his foster home by Daddy Albert and Daddy Rich, he can’t fall asleep in his new bed. What will it take to make Lester feel home at last?
“My New Mom & Me,” by Renata Galindo. Told from the point of view of a puppy who is adopted by a cat, this gentle and reassuring tale is perfect for very young readers and listeners.
“A Thirst for Home: A Story of Water Across the World,” by Christine Ieronimo. Alemitu lives with her mother in a poor village in Ethiopia, where she must walk miles for water and hunger roars in her belly. Even though life is difficult, she dreams of someday knowing more about the world. When her mother has no choice but to leave her at an orphanage, an American family adopts Alemitu.